We at Gaia Online understand the desire of the community to be able to speak freely about legitimate topics and ideas, and to discuss a variety of subjects that may have personal relevance to our members, including issues relating to child sexual abuse/exploitation and other sensitive topics. Please note, however, that the following additional rules apply to such communications:
1. Inappropriate discussion or depiction of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation and/or related topics which promote, endorse or may be seen to promote or endorse child abuse in any form which may be considered to be harmful to or threaten the security of a child or minor is not allowed on Gaia Online.
2. The use of images (real or artistic renditions) and/or text which explicitly promotes or endorses child sexuality, abuse, exploitation and/or related topics is not allowed on Gaia Online.
3. Making light of child sexuality, abuse, exploitation and/or related topics through jokes, internet memes, comments or messages is not allowed on Gaia Online.
Violating the above rules, or otherwise submitting content or utilizing language or terms meant to imply or insinuate these situations, may result in a warning, permanent ban and/or other action by Gaia, including but not limited to removal of the content in question. If you are submitting content to Gaia Online and you are unsure whether that content violates our Terms of Service or other rules and guidelines, including the additional rules noted above, it is better to not submit the content and to ask a Gaia Moderator.
[Please note that, despite the prohibitions listed above, information provided by other Gaia users may contain inappropriate, offensive or sexually explicit material, and Gaia assumes no responsibility or liability for this material.] If you become aware of misuse of Gaia Online by any person, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never Share Your Password
Your Gaia password should always
be kept private. If somebody gets your password, they can do all sorts
of bad things: they can lock you out of your account, steal your items,
change your profile, pretend to be you, and cause lots of trouble. You
should never give your password to anyone except your parents.
Even giving your password to friends is a very bad idea! Gaia moderators
and administrators will never ask you for your password by e-mail, by
PM, or by any other means.
If anyone asks for your Gaia Online password, it's a scam! Don't share it!
Never Share Personal Identification Information
For your safety, never share things like your full name, your phone number or your home address, or anything else that could be used to identify you in the real world. Sharing personal information over the Internet can be dangerous; you never know who might read it. In addition, please make sure that your Gaia Online member name does not say too much about you -- a dangerous person might combine various clues about you to figure out who you are. Think twice about posting photos of yourself; people may misuse those photos, or use them to figure out information about you. Posting your private info is not only against our Terms of Service it's against common sense!
Never Share Personally Embarrassing/Private Information
Things that you post on Gaia, or anywhere else on the web, will be available for everyone to see for a long time. You never know when somebody might recognize you from school, work, or anywhere else in real life, and reveal embarrassing information to people you know. Unfortunately, it happens! Even if you never share your real name or other personal info, always assume that what you're posting is not anonymous, and that somebody might find out about it.
Don't Mislead People About Your Age
It's not only strictly against our Terms of Service, but it can be dangerous to mislead other people -- including Gaia's staff -- about your age. If you pretend to be older or younger than you really are, Gaia reserves the right to moderate or remove your profile at our discretion.
Be Careful when Following Offsite Links
If a link looks fishy, don't click it! Avoid clicking hyperlinks that lead to sites with strange, offensive, or confusing names. They could send you to sites that contain gross pictures, harmful software, or scams that will try to steal your password. Think before you click! Make sure you're going to a site that you trust.
Never Arrange Meetings with Strangers
There are lots of creepy people in the world, and you never know who you're really talking to on the Internet. Flirting with strangers online can have serious consequences, and some people will lie to you about who they are in real life. Never arrange real-life meetings with people you meet on the Internet, unless you do so under strict supervision from your parents. If anyone tries to lure you into meeting them in real life, or asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, you should inform your parents or an authority figure immediately! If you have suspicions or a funny feeling about a stranger contacting you through Gaia Online or anywhere else in cyberspace, trust your instincts and tell a parent.
You're also welcome to contact the Gaia Online administration team if you're confused and don't know how to handle a situation with another member. Gaia Administrators can be reached at: http://www.gaiaonlinehelp.com/
Protecting Your Account
Most accounts that get "hacked" (and have all their gold and items stolen) are the result of users giving away their password. The most effective way to protect your account is to never give away your password to anyone, not even your friends. If you believe your password has been compromised, change it right away!
Also, we advise against letting anyone else use your account. If you let a friend use your account, you are responsible for anything that they post. If they break the rules, you might get banned!
There are a few common ways that scammers try to break into people's accounts. Most of them involve scammers tricking you into giving them your password. For example, a scammer might send you an e-mail or a private message claiming to be an administrator and telling that you will be made a moderator if you give them your password, or they might threaten to ban your account if you don't reveal your password. These are scams; real moderators will never ask you for your password. Please report these PMs or e-mails to the moderators immediately. Remember that real moderators and administrators have colored usernames so you can easily recognize them.
Other scammers might send you links that look just like Gaia Online's homepage and ask you to log in, and then steal the username and password you log in with. Before logging in to Gaia, make sure that you are actually at the www.gaiaonline.com domain name.
Some scammers send links to sites that promise to transfer free gold into your account if you give them your username and password. These sites do not work; they just collect your username and password so that they can steal gold and items from your account.
The best thing to remember is that if anyone asks for your password, it's a scam!
If you receive any message that asks for your account information, or that you feel might be a scam for any reason, please fill out a scamming report:
If your account has been compromised by a hacker or scammer and they've stolen gold and items from you, please fill out a hacking report:
If another user is abusing,
harassing, stalking or continually bugging you, please fill out an "abuse
and harassment" report so that the moderators can address the situation
and prevent further harassment.
More Tips on Net Safety
The following links provide a wealth of interesting and detailed information on staying safe online. Check them out sometime:
Contact Information for Law Enforcement
If you are a member of law enforcement and need to contact us about a situation on Gaia, please feel free to call our safety hotline. This hotline number is 1-408-467-8512 which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also fax us at 1-408-573-1045.
If you are not a member of law enforcement, please be aware that the safety hotline and safety fax numbers are for emergencies only, and messages about general account issues will not be responded to. If your emergency is a real-world emergency, we encourage you to please contact your local law enforcement agency so they can immediately assist you with the problem. They are your first and best line of defense against real-life safety issues.